Among the various types of sheet metals available in the market the most versatile, affordable, and durable material is always “Stainless Steel”.
Stainless Steel sheets are super easy to work with. They are readily formed without any hassle due to their incredible malleability. Stainless Steel Sheets & Plates. are used for a wide range of applications right from huge industrial appliances up to small household appliances.
Here are the properties and benefits of Stainless Steel sheets you need to know about:
Lustrous and Durable:
Stainless Steel alloys contain chromium which increases their strength and toughness significantly. Additionally, chromium plays a major role in giving stainless steel its anti-rust and anti-corrosive properties. The chromium content in association with the carbon content gives brilliant strength, durability, and resilience to the metal alloy.
Stainless Steel metal sheets are highly malleable and thus can be quite thin. Sheet metals have a thickness of 0.25mm and SS plates have a thickness below 0.25mm. The sheet metal thickness uses a gauge as a size reference. The larger the gauge number thinner the sheet.
As we know, stainless steel has numerous grades due to the variety in alloying compositions. Common types and grades of stainless steel used include:
Stainless steel grade 200 series: The basic alloying composition of this series includes chromium, carbon, and manganese. This grade of SS can be hardened but does not have great corrosion-resistant properties.
Stainless Steel grade 300 series: This series of alloys are the most in-demand and widely used grades. They exhibit exceptional mechanical and physical properties. They are highly ductile, malleable, weldable, and most importantly corrosion resistant. The most commonly used grades from the 300 series are SS304 and SS316.
Martensitic Steel: Easily machined but not great at resisting corrosion.
Austenitic Steel: Brilliant Corrosion resistance.
Ferritic Steel: Ease of fabrication, moderate corrosion resistance.
Duplex: Amalgamation of Ferritic and Austenitic, twice the strength compared to austenitic grades.
Common applications of Stainless Steel Sheets:
- Automotive industry
- Medical and Pharmaceutical
- Food production
- Energy generation
Weldability of Stainless Steel Plates and Sheets:
The thickness and uneven heat distribution are an obstacle when it comes to welding Stainless Steel Sheets and Plates. It is highly advised to heat the metal slowly and carefully as heating the sheet excessively can cause it to warp. The engineer carrying out the welding process needs to be highly educated about the specifications and tricks used to weld Stainless steel sheets and plates.
Cutting SS plates and Sheets:
High-end laser devices are used to cut these sheets. However, for manufacturers who wish to stick to medieval and primitive methodology tools such as snips, band saw, and jigsaws come in handy.
Bending Metal sheets and plates:
The bendability of the Stainless steel plate depends on its thickness. Thin plates can be bent using the force of the hand whereas thicker sheets require bending devices.